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In-form jockey Matt McGillivray is happy to forego the ride on Crack Me Up in the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday week even if the pair combine for another win at Doomben this weekend.

Matt McGillivray will ride Craack Me Up, above with white and colours, in the Brisbane Handicap at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Matt McGillivray will ride Crack Me Up, above with white and colours, in the Brisbane Handicap at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

McGillivray and the Liam Birchley trained Crack Me Up combined to win the Listed $100,000 Recognition Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on November 25 and the pair will team up again this Saturday in the Listed $100,000 Brisbane Handicap (1600m).

McGillivray is currently third in the Brisbane jockey’s premiership on twenty-five wins behind Jeff Lloyd (37 wins) and Robbie Fradd (35.5 wins) and has knocked back the ride on Crack Me Up in the Villiers Stakes, electing to stay in Brisbane to keep his winning momentum going.

“I am very grateful to the owners for sticking with me this weekend and for understanding my reasons not to go to Sydney,” McGillivray told The Courier-Mail.

“I am still establishing myself here in Brisbane and am still very much the new kid on the block.

‘‘I feel it’s important at the moment to show loyalty to the people who are supporting me week in, week out here.”

Crack Me Up has drawn barrier four in the fifteen horse Brisbane Handicap field and Birchley is not worried about backing up the four year old in the Villiers Stakes in a week.

“It’s just the way the program fell,” Birchley said.

“The only way to avoid that would have been to go to Sydney earlier and I didn’t want to do that.”

Recognition Stakes third placegetter Hopfgarten will clash again with Crack Me Up in the Brisbane Handicap and will be ridden by Adelaide’s leading jockey Jamie Kah who will be riding at Doomben as part for the South Australian Origin Jockey Series team.

Hopfgarten has drawn barrier seven with Ron Stewart to ride while top weight Rudy, who has been lumped with 60kg, will jump from gate six with Michael Cahill in the saddle.

Final field for the 2017 Brisbane Handicap (1600m)

# Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 34353251×5 RUDY Helen Page Michael Cahill 6 60kg 106
2 8x2908x163 HOPFGARTEN Robert Heathcote Ron Stewart 7 59kg 104
3 0910205×47 SIR MOMENTS Steven O’dea Damian Browne 15 58.5kg 103
4 2x40211x21 CRACK ME UP (NZ) Liam Birchley Matthew McGillivray 4 56.5kg 99
5 70×6162416 FRESPANOL Tony Gollan Michael Rodd 14 56.5kg 99
6 381310×280 CANTBUYBETTER Ben Currie Ms Jamie Kah 3 54kg 93
7 428230×694 TOO GOOD TO REFUSE Desleigh Forster Dwayne Dunn 12 54kg 93
8 5148×55115 URBAN KNIGHT Darryl Hansen Luke Tarrant 8 54kg 90
9 9530107×00 KAISER FRANZ (NZ) Robert Heathcote Clare Lindop 2 54kg 89.5
10 15x38117x0 BRAZEN MOSS Tony Gollan Jim Byrne 11 54kg 89
11 70920×8326 EMPHASIS Richie Stephenson Larry Cassidy 9 54kg 88
12 34007×2713 ZAHSPEED Toby Edmonds Tegan Harrison 13 54kg 85
13 213x2361x5 SAN TELMO Garry Smith James Orman 5 54kg 83
14 100248×090 FRIENDLY DRAGON Les Ross 10 54kg 82
15 97×5600000 BODEGA NEGRA Bruce Hill Paul Hammersley 1 54kg 76.5

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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